SEOUL, Local administration chiefs affiliated with the ruling Democratic Party (DP) urged parliament Wednesday to approve a ratification motion for the April inter-Korean summit agreement, pending for nearly two months amid partisan wrangling.
Fourteen city mayors and provincial governors belonging to the party, as well as Won Hee-ryong, the independent governor of the southern island of Jeju, issued a joint statement calling for parliamentary efforts to implement the landmark inter-Korean cooperation deal.
They also demanded a law revision so that provincial governments could carry out discretionary joint projects with North Korea.
A joint statement was read by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon; Park Nam-chun, mayor of Incheon, west of Seoul; and Choi Moon-soon, governor of Gangwon Province, at a press conference held at the National Assembly.
"We urge the National Assembly to consent to the ratification of the April summit deal, which has laid the groundwork for peace on the Korean Peninsula and co-prosperity between the Koreas," the statement said.
"We also call on revising the law on inter-Korean ties so as to allow provincial governments to play a key role in promoting cooperation," it added.
Of the nation's 17 large local government chiefs, 15 have signed the statement. The two others are affiliated with the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), which objects to the government's fast rapprochement with the North without progress for North Korea's denuclearization.
Partisan tensions have further heightened since President Moon Jae-in last week ratified the inter-Korean summit agreement in Pyongyang and a military deal, both signed on Sept. 19, without parliamentary consent.
The DP said that the ratification of those deals is not problematic as they are annexed to the April summit agreement. But the LKP said that the deals are effectively treaties with a foreign nation that are subject to parliament consent for ratification.
Source: Yonhap News Agency